ALSC Board

Meet Your ALSC Board: Lucia Gonzalez

Monthly, we will profile current ALSC Board members. We hope to offer information about the people who work to guide the organization so that you can feel more comfortable in reaching out to them with your concerns, questions, or comments. This month, we invite you to meet ALSC Board member, Lucia Gonzalez.

Photo courtesy of Anna Gonzalez

1. How did you first get involved with ALSC?

Before the Internet, professional networking was personal. I remember learning about ALSC in the winter of 1988 at my Foundations of Librarianship class, my first course in Library School.  The class was being taught by Dr. Henrietta Smith who later became my life-long mentor and role model.  Dr. Smith was passionate about active participation and about the impact that we each could have in shaping library services through engagement.  I joined ALSC that year as a student member.  Attending regional and national meetings and conferences was the way to network, to establish connections, to learn new skills, and to be part of the professional dialogue.  I graduated from Library School in 1991 while working in Children’s Services at the Miami Dade Public Library System (MDPLS).  At the time, Mary Summerville, 1988 ALSC President, was the Library Director at MDPLS.  She had also been Youth Services Coordinator prior to becoming the Director there.  Those were enlightened years of growth and engagement for all of us working in Youth Services at MDPLS.  The ALSC Competencies, best practices, multicultural services and diversity became integral components of our day-to-day work.  I’ve been an active member of ALSC ever since then. 

Joining ALSC took me beyond the “four walls” of my library from the get-go and expanded my career opportunities.  Then and now, ALSC provides the best and most inclusive platform for professional networking, for sharing information, and for learning from each other’s challenges and successes. I’ve gained invaluable experience in leadership and advocacy through my work with ALSC.  

2. What excites you about serving on the ALSC Board? OR What is something you’re looking forward to while serving on the ALSC Board?

Serving on the ALSC Board is a great honor and professional achievement, a validation of my work in the field.  The actions taken by the ALSC Board lead the work of the organization.  It is a tremendous responsibility. Working with ALSC Staff and all the members of the ALSC Board has been a most rewarding experience.  As a group, the Board must be wise, knowledgeable, and also brave and open to new ventures and possibilities.  The decisions we make have an immediate and a long-lasting impact.  I hope that the work of this Board contributes to expanding opportunities for leadership as reflected in a diverse and powerful volunteer base.  

3. What is something you have done as a member of ALSC that you’re particularly proud of?

I am forever grateful and very proud to have been elected to serve as the 2021-22 ALSC President.  Serving as ALSC President is a great professional accomplishment, and it was also a tremendous challenge.  My presidential year coincided with my retirement as Library Director from the City of North Miami.  Completing my term as ALSC President was like crossing the finish line after running a marathon. While my years of service were the miles I ran, completing my ALSC Presidency felt like crossing the glorious finish line – I was happy, proud, and greatly satisfied.  

4. What advice would you give to an ALSC member interested in exploring more leadership or governance roles?

My only advice is one that was given to me at the start of my career: get involved! Offer yourself as a volunteer or presenter, and seize any and all opportunities to network and to learn from those who have been leading in the profession.  ALSC has a long and venerable history.  It is up to us, its members, to continue the work and keep the legacy. 

5. What is an ALSC opportunity or resource that you wish more members knew about?

ALSC has a wealth of professional development opportunities and webinars.  I wish more members took advantage of their availability.  I also would like to see more members attend online meetings of the ALSC Board as an audience.  Attending those meetings is a way to stay informed and to learn, first-hand, about the governance of ALSC. 

6. What is your favorite Youth Media Award-winning book?

I have so many favorites!  If I have to select only one, that book would be Allen Say’s Grandfather’s Journey.  The moving story about a man’s love for his two countries is very close to my heart.   

7. What is your favorite ALSC memory?  

My most memorable, magical, and amazing ALSC memory happened the evening of June 26 during the Annual Conference of ALA when I presided over the 2022 Newbery-Caldecott-Legacy Banquet.  It was a tremendous joy and honor.  An unforgettable experience.

Interested in standing for election to the ALSC Board? Find out more on the ALSC election information

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